January 26, 1998


Attendees: Bill Blass, Chair, Jim Adcock, Martha Alligood, Gayle Baker, Valerie Bales, Benjamin Bates, Larry Bell, Doug Birdwell, Chris Cox, Mike Devine, David Dobbs, Burt English, Pat Fisher, Kerry Henry, Zoe Hoyle, Kim Jensen, Paula Kaufman, Andrew Kramer, Ron Maples, Hal Schmitt, Flora Shrode, Dwight Teeter, Phyllis Turner, Ken Walker, Carolyn Webb, Gail White, Pete Wicks, Clif Woods

NOTE: The next Research Council meeting will held on Monday, February 23, at 3:30 p.m. in the 8th floor Board Room, Andy Holt Tower.

Opening Comments - Blass
Meeting called to order. Blass opened with the reminder of the upcoming Chancellor’s Awards for Research and Creative Achievements and the new award Professional Promise for junior faculty, both deadlines are next Monday, February 2nd. There are also three new awards from Vice Chancellor of the Division of Information Infrastructure Office: Excellence in Information Technology Innovation; Excellence in Innovative Uses of Technology in Research; Excellence in Instructional Technology; all three deadlines are February 18th. Blass also noted the Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement will be held April 1st & 2nd at the University Center. Blass noted Clif Woods attending the meeting and had been invited to be the representative from the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs office. The by-laws committee needs to add the representation from this office into the by-laws.

Opening Comments - Devine
Devine mentioned the valuable opportunities that the Office of Research has in working with aggressive faculty doing research activities. It is encouraging to see people work together to help establish research activity around campus. For example, the suggestion for a junior faculty award. With a lot of help from Kim Jensen and committee the Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievements is the new junior faculty award. Other opportunities happening on campus are 8 or 9 research groups working to put together major equipment and/or center proposals, that will require major matching funds from our office and SARIF funds.

Opening Comments - Walker:
Ken Walker reported back from the last meeting on the Graduate Student/Stipend issue. Walker discussed the handouts, which were provided by Jan Allen of the Graduate School, regarding the number of GA’s, GTA’s, and GRA’s over the last 12 years at UTK. The guidelines/policy on foreign student enrollment were also in the handouts. Walker asked that the council review and ask “is this policy to restrictive?” and if so, should the administration be approached to change this policy, so that departments can get the best qualified students for the GA, GTA, and GRA positions. Wicks noted that the current policy is not flexible and suggested that members of council address this issue with their departments and report at the next meeting on their findings.

Walker reported back on the lobbying issues that Burt English raised at the last meeting. Walker did not have a complete answer, but Lillian Mashburn stated that Buddy Mitchell was the official person to contact on the AG campus.

Walker also commented on the upcoming Undergraduate Exhibits in April. Last year the exhibits emphasized mostly science and engineering. However, this year more performances and exhibitions will be provided by the fine arts and humanities areas. Walker encouraged all council members to participate and to encourage others to participate.

Reactions to Explorations:
Zoe Hoyle reported on the distribution and reactions of the new “Explorations” magazine on the research and creative activity at UTK. Over 5000 copies have been distributed to campus (faculty, depts., Chancellor’s Associates, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee). Lillian Mashburn and Walter Lambert have given copies to congressional staff and state legislators. Zoe is currently working with development and alumni affairs to distribute to UTK contributors. She is also working on distributing to media representatives. All reactions received have been very good.

Zoe is beginning to work on a time-line for the next publication and may form a committee (with some members from Research Council) to help set guidelines for the next issue. Kramer asked if the document would be put on the web? Zoe is working on getting the publication on the web. Blass commented that all members needed to help distributed this publication to people outside the campus arena — by giving to neighbors, friends, other colleagues. Mashburn also suggested sending to agencies when working with them.

Treasurer’s Office Update - Ron Maples:
Ron was asked by Mike Devine to give a update on the State contracting issues. The State of Tennessee is the 2nd or 3rd biggest contractors for UTK research. UTK had five issues regarding State contracts, that Ron has brought to the State’s attention:

  1. Problems with travel expenses; State requires all contractors to use the state rules/policies for travel - not UTK travel policies.
  2. “Owner Contracting” terms is another issue - this issue is not to our complete satisfaction but told really nothing we can do about it.
  3. Reporting methods - every state agency has different reporting methods that UTK has to follow. This issue has been brought to the state for review. The state is working on a standardized reporting method for sub-contractors; UTK is not considered a sub-contractor. But for reporting methods the state will now include UTK, so that we can use the standardized reporting once established.
  4. State contracts require quarterly billing, while UTK prefers to monthly billing. The state has agreed to allow UTK to monthly bill.
  5. State requires excessive documentation for invoices. This issue has been brought to the State’s attention and their response is that they will look at the policy and see if things can be handled differently.

Devine suggested that a broad contract needed to be created for state agencies contracting with other state agencies.

Cost Accounting Standards - Ron Maples was scheduled to give an update at the last Deans’ meeting, however this meeting was canceled. Ron still plans on meeting with the deans, but a time has not been set.

Research And Creative Activity Self-Study Committee Update:
Devine reported that this committee has meet twice. Committee exist of 20 members and have formed teams to look at certain issues, in addition to the specific charge of writing goals for the Five-Year Plan.

Website Forum/Discussion Page:
Blass wanted everyone to know where the forum/discussion page is located and to encourage faculty members to use this forum to look for collaboration, advice, etc. The best way is to access the RC webpage ( then look for discussion forum link. (Note this page is not a UT restricted page, it does have public access.)

Burt English asked what would be the best way to get faculty to access the forum page? English went on to comment that the Chancellor’s discussion page does not receive much activity. Jensen commented on how other universities webpage design is easily accessible, (e.g., “Research” button on main homepage and links to all areas of research for that university) with a lead-in, such as the mission statement. Research topics from the UTK homepage are not easily found. English also stated that there was a need for boilerplate information for faculty to have for proposal writing.

Research Support Goals:
Blass feels there is a need to educate central administration on the importance and need for budgeting more direct support for research and creative activities. The need for more E & G dollars to be put back into research. It was suggested the Five-Year Plan may be the place to initiate the awareness of this issue.

Adjournment: 5:10 p.m.